Icelandic fuel from geothermal sources sold in Holland


The first shipment of renewable transport fuel from Carbon Recycling International's production plant in Iceland has been shipped to Dutch oil company Argos in Rotterdam. Argos is a leading oil company in Northern Europe. Carbon Recycling International (CRI) expects to ship all of its production which is not consumed by the domestic market to the Netherlands this year. The fuel, renewable methanol traded under the brand name Vulcanol, is produced from water, renewable electricity and CO2 and can be blended with regular gasoline.

Last year the Dutch Renewable Energy Directive was amended to allow fuel distributors to meet the blending mandate for renewable transport fuels with fuel which is produced using electricity from renewable sources and CO2. CRI is currently the only company in the world that operates a plant producing liquid automotive transportation fuel from non-biological sources of renewable energy.

The production technology was originally developed in CRI's research laboratories in Reykjavik, Iceland. The Vulcanol production plant is located 50 km outside Reykjavik. All CO2 used in the production process is captured from flue gas from the nearby HS Orka geothermal power plant.
SGS Germany GmbH has issued the first ISCC PLUS certificate for renewable fuels of non-biological origin for CRI's production plant. The ISCC PLUS certification system, shows that renewable methanol from CRI's plant offsets more carbon in the product life cycle than biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel from wheat, corn, sugarcane or oilseeds.

About 20 million tons (25 billon liters) of methanol are consumed as fuel in the world annually, but only a tiny fraction of this methanol is from renewable sources. The market for renewable transport fuels in Europe is now approximately 5% of the total energy used by automobiles, but this ratio is supposed to double before the end of this decade. The market for renewable transport fuels which are of non-biological origin or from waste is expected to show the fastest growth in coming years. The EU is currently debating a directive which limits the use of biofuels from food crops. The cap on crop biofuels should be implemented by the end of 2013.

Argos is the largest independent player in the downstream oil market in Western Europe and distributes over 17.5 billion liters of fuels each year. The company has a leading position in the Netherlands and also operates a distribution network in Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland. Argos has been one of the European leaders in blending of renewable fuels with fossil fuels.

„The first shipment of Vulcanol to the Netherlands marks a major milestone for CRI. We share the success with our partners at Argos and thank them for their leadership and vision. This is the first time that electrofuel, made from renewable energy and industrial emissions, is used for gasoline blending in continental Europe. Renewable transport fuels from non-biological sources are available as a compliment to biofuels," said KC Tran, CEO of Carbon Recycling International.

Carbon Recycling International is a venture backed company, with headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland which has been developing innovative methods to produce renewable transport fuels since 2006. CRI's first renewable methanol plant was inaugurated at Svartsengi, in the Reykjanes peninsula in the spring of 2012.